Letters – October 4, 2019

Frontier Adds Insult to Injury

A story about someone’s experience fighting an unnecessarily complex and cold-hearted bureaucratic nightmare with Frontier might not be top of anyone’s reading list. I wouldn’t ordinarily bother recording it (why go through it again?), but when the same thing happened to a friend of mine who recently became widowed, I felt compelled to bring this to light.

Two years ago I called Frontier about some small issue (probably asking for a new promotion) and at some point in the conversation, when I must have been asked the name of the account holder, I volunteered that my husband had recently and unexpectedly died. “Oh, in that case…” I heard the voice at the other end say and immediately I regretted opening my big mouth.

The small issue that I called about must have been resolved or forgotten but now the bigger issue of the account holder’s name started growing as if bureaucratic fertilizer had been applied by the truckload. I told them I was newly widowed, not at my best, and could do without any challenging red tape nightmares for a few weeks at least. They assured me that they would be sensitive to my fragile condition and would make the necessary simple changes upon receipt of the death certificate. “Don’t worry”  I was told. They continued to say that nothing would change, there would be no interruption in service, that I would still have the same phone number, internet service ,and TV options, “exactly as before.”

Relieved, I went back to planning the memorial. An hour later I picked up the phone to call the florist, and the line was dead. I opened my computer and there was no internet. The TV didn’t work either.

The timing was dreadful. Family and friends were not able to send their RSVPs to the memorial gathering. I remember sitting on my neighbor’s porch, close to her router to get some cell phone reception and calling Frontier, begging and crying. I was transferred back and forth from customer service to technical support and while each individual I talked to was sympathetic and apologetic, they were remarkably consistent in contradicting each other in terms of what was needed to fix the problem. I came to recognize that having explained the story fully to one department, all that information disappeared into a black hole during the transfer of the call to the other department. Why they couldn’t talk to each other directly defied me.  

Eventually, a few days later, service was restored but my old phone number was no more. I had a new telephone number. Again I called and was told that it was a temporary fix and the original number would be returned in the near future. Two years later, it still hasn’t, but time has passed, and there’s no point dwelling on such tedious frustrations, right?

Then, I heard from a recently widowed friend that she, too, called Frontier to cancel a business line her late husband had to the house. They assured her there would be no interuption in her service. Several days later, she had no telephone and no internet service as I write this.

Needless to say, she is upset, angry, frustrated and in disbelief, just as I was.

I am cross, not with the individuals who work with Frontier (many of whom truly were sympathetic and wanted to help), but with the company, its size, its red tape, its infuriating systems of transfers, its cold-hearted automation, and most of all, the wall that makes it impossible to send complaints and feedback to whoever designs this type of system.

To whom it may concern? Obviously no one there is concerned.

 —Andrea Ehrgott


No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.